“Harry Potter & The Cursed Child” Actress Opens Up About Racist Casting Backlash

Photo: Jeff Spicer/Getty Images.
Actress Noma Dumezweni has faced backlash since she was first cast as Hermione Granger in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Dumezweni is starring as a grown-up Hermione in the London production — which is garnering rave reviews of its preview performances before the July opening. The stage actress recently spoke with the U.K.'s Sunday Times about the challenges of taking on the iconic role. "It’s ignorance," she said of the controversy surrounding her casting. "It drives me crazy. It’s a limitation. Because this is absolutely a different form." Of the bullying she has received on social media, “My name is being tagged into stuff that’s not nice," said Dumezweni.
At the same time, the the 47-year-old acknowledges that people have grown used to seeing Hermione portrayed as a white woman. “I am a black woman who has been given this character called Hermione to play on the stage," Dumezweni explained. “But actually, we’ve all grown up with the books, with Emma Watson playing her in the films. Imagery is so strong." However, she also believes that just as the magical world of Harry Potter is universally relatable, so is the character of Hermione. “Every girl, every walk of life, every race, gets it — how do we go into the world? I want to go into the world the way she does. Am I brave enough to go through what she does?” In our eyes, Dumezweni has already proven that. (Yahoo! U.K.)

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